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The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Terraforming Mars is the official mobile adaptation of Jacob Fryxelius' popular board game of the same name for download on iOS and Android based mobile devices. Players take on the role of a futuristic company as it competes against rivals to develop thriving communities on the inhospitable Martian surface. The game's complex and complicated, which could be overwhelming for younger or casual gamers. The game also supports both local and online multiplayer matches for up to five players, which could potentially expose players to offensive language via the chat feature.
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What's it about?
TERRAFORMING MARS bring all the strategic gameplay and competitive flair of Jacob Fryxelius' award-winning board game to mobile gamers in this official video game adaptation. Players run rival corporations competing against one another in a race to terraform the harsh landscape of the Red Planet. You'll earn victory points by achieving specific milestones while sabotaging the progress of your competition. All the while, you'll need to continue utilizing technological advances to balance the Martian temperature, oxygen, and climate to satisfy your colony's needs. You can play the game's Solo mode to try and completely terraform the planet within fourteen generations, or enjoy a more traditional board game experience in the game's robust multiplayer mode. You can also compete against friends and family in the game's local multiplayer matches, passing your device around between turns, or take the space race global with online multiplayer for up to five players.
Is it any good?
It's safe to assume that the colonization and terraforming of a hostile planet like Mars is a complex and complicated affair. And if you didn't believe that before, you will after playing a few rounds of this mobile adaptation of the popular Terraforming Mars board game. While the game seems simple enough at the start, it quickly becomes a strategic circus act, with players trying to balance tactics and micromanagement while juggling two completely different but connected paths to victory. On one hand, players have to find ways to adjust and maintain key elements to make the planet habitable. Simultaneously, they have to fend off rival corporations and race to accomplish key milestones, earning more Victory Points than the competition. It's easy to put too much focus into one at the expense of the other, which is a surefire formula for defeat.
One issue is that the game's not very inviting for newcomers. Even with its tutorials, it feels like players are tossed into the deep end of the pool before they learn how to swim. And this is a game where learning how to play on the fly just isn't going to cut it against the computer or against more experienced players. Online multiplayer can get frustrating at times in turn-based games, as it's difficult to even see which players' turn everyone is waiting on. Making matters worse, the game suffers from connection issues that often wipes out match progress if the game is interrupted in in any way. These sort of glitches don't necessarily ruin the game, but when they happen, it can definitely make players feel like walking away from it for a while.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about board games. What are some things that traditional style board games offer that other gaming genres can't? What are some of the advantages and disadvantages between digital versions of board games and their analog counterparts?
What are some ways to use games to bring families closer together? How can teaming up with and competing against family help to build closer bonds?
- Devices: iPhone, iPad, Android
- Price: 8.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Release date: February 20, 2020
- Category: Board Games
- Topics: Science and Nature, Space and Aliens
- Size: 245.60 MB
- Publisher: Asmodee Digital
- Version: 1.1368
- Minimum software requirements: Requires iOS 10.0 or higher; Android 6.0 and up
- Last updated: May 18, 2020
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